Vanity, thy name is Anne.

That’s me!

This week, I spent obscene sums on new glasses, very fancy, and teeth whitening. And skincare products, though a “Benny” card paid for that. I’m considering Juvederm in my lips too.

And no, it’s not in response to this very apt article, though it nicely sums up the dilemma of wanting to look good while professing that it’s never all about looking good.

Even when it is.

Y’see, my wonderful, long-suffering hubby inhabits a parallel universe where I’m considered pretty. It has a population of exactly one. Him.

This is touching and sweet, of course, but I’m not suffering from self-esteem issues when I say that Vogue will never be calling me up for a photo shoot. Or Vanity Fair. In fact, I’m pretty much hating cameras these days, until they stop focusing on the things closest to the lens, which is nearly always my boobs or my nose. It’s been years since I’ve seen a photo that hasn’t made me look like I’ve stuffed two buoys under my shirt, or that I put one of my husband’s socks on my face and covered it with make-up.

Why does the camera hate me so?

I could whine about sexism and women of a certain age and societal double standards when it comes to looks. Yawn. But really, I just want to look pretty, or at least prettyish. I want to be one of those women who ages with grace and style, or failing that, with a diminished sense of futility. My expectations are not exactly high, but then, neither are my eyebrows, which are drooping nearly to my upper lip these days, which means I have to raise them in a look of permanent astonishment to see anything.

I want to bat what’s left of my eyelashes at my husband and give him a come-hither look and for once not hear him say, “Is something wrong? You look upset.”

Hey, at least he’s trying.

And so am I. I spent money I don’t have on beauty I can never fully attain, but if I don’t at least try, there are wrinkles and yellow teeth and squinty eyesight in my immediate future. And I thought that sounded kind of lonely and scary and old and sad.

I cannot solve the world’s problems. But I can make myself sort of prettyish, if only the camera would keep things in proportion.

Because goodness knows I can’t.

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